Michaelmas Day is the feast of St. Michael, the Archangel, celebrated on September 29. Nearing the equinox, it signifies the beginning of autumn and is also one of the four English 'Quarter Days'. The other three are the Lady Day (March 25), Midsummer (June 24), and Christmas (December 25). The old Michaelmas Day was celebrated on October 11 before the switch was made from Julian calendar to Gregorian calendar. It is celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on November 8.
In England, eating a stubble goose, which was reared that year, on Michaelmas was said to shield you from financial strife the following year. Roasting a goose on Michaelmas is also associated with the harvest of crops. Which is why the famous saying, "Eat a goose on Michaelmas Day, want not for money all year long".
Cereal harvested from the farmland was used to make the bannock by every family in Scotland; usually using no metal tools. Traditionally cooked by the eldest daughter in the family, this specially made bread preparation is also known as Struan Michael. Equal amounts of barley, oats, and rye go into making the Struan bread.
As the folklore suggests, Michaelmas symbolizes the last day to pick blackberries. It is believed that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer from heaven, the devil fell into a thorny blackberry bush; he cursed the fruit, crushed it, spat on it, and burnt it with his fiery breath, making it unfit to consume. Since blackberries are not to be eaten after September 29, a blackberry pie is prepared on Michaelmas Day.
The Michaelmas Daisy is the only flower that blooms during the autumnal equinox, when the dark and cold nights of winter begin. It is thus associated with Michaelmas Day and St. Michael, who protects from the dark and evil. Besides, there is the old custom of plucking the daisy petals one by one and saying, "S/he loves me", and "S/he loves me not", until the last petal, to see if you are loved or not.